RAMEN | 阿夫利 (Afuri)

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Late night wandering ‘lonely gourmet’ style brought me back to this special Yuzu Shio ramen place that certainly wowed me the last time when I checked on their Harajuku shop. Named after Mt. Afuri in the Kanagawa prefecture for the mountain water used to make the noodles, this joint has long been famous for its relatively light soup base, enhanced by the Yuzu zest and topped up with mizuna, and indeed is very popular even among the female crowd, usually not the biggest fans of ramen joints. The various locations in trendy places around Tokyo and the relatively clean and modern ambience also helped no doubt. For LG, the biggest draw card though, is the piece of charsiu that is being chargrilled individually in front of each customer. The show together with the smell makes it a winning bowl already even before being served. This time at the Azabu Juban branch, however, it has let LG down, for the simple reason that the grill is confined within a glass box and thus it was as good as watching TV with no grilling fragrance to offer. That aside, still one of the best alternatives out there to the tonkotsu ones that now seemed to have ruled the ramen world in Japan and abroad. For first timer, check out the Harajuku shop and you won’t be disappointed.

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